Day 19–Sat., Oct. 15, 2011–Xingang / Beijing, People’s Republic of China

     There is a brand new cruise terminal in Xingang, so much better than when we were here in 2007.  The shuttle bus to the Tanggu Friendship Store is about a 45 minute trip one way.  We had a Cruise Critic tour with Ray for an overnight to Beijing, costing $165 pp.  The ship overnight tour is $849 pp.

     We had another face to face passport check getting off.  The parking lot is paved and we walked over to our bus after meeting our guide, David.  IMG_0001  He called us all Grandma and Grandpa, showing respect.  Our schedule was messed up because of the horrendous traffic as we got close to Beijing.  Also our bathroom break took a while because there was only one toilet that was a “sitter” as opposed to a “squatter”.  Bathroom

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     The roads were clean and many had flower planters hanging on the dividers.  As we were late, our first stop was lunch.  It was upstairs from a cloisonné shop.  We thought our time at the shop was a bit long, but by the end of the two days with David, we realized he didn’t always tell everyone the same time.  It was a Chinese lunch with a huge lazy Susan in the center.  After lunch we headed out to the Juyuanngaun section of the Great Wall.  We were told there were no tickets for sale at Badaling.  Again, it was just amazing to be on the wall.  It wasn’t too crowed, but the spot we were dropped off was near the shops.  You had to walk down to walk up the one side of the wall.  The weather was great, nice and sunny.  Juyannguan Great Wall  Juyannguan Great Wall

     We then went to Changling, the most famous one of the Ming Tombs.  The Ming Tombs are located 60 kilometers north of Beijing.  We had traffic on the way there, also.

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     We were supposed to go to an acrobatic show and dinner, but with the traffic so bad we canceled and went to the hotel.  We ate dinner, watched Japanese Wipe Out and went to bed.  The Prime Hotel was gorgeous!  We each just had a sandwich for dinner, forgoing the buffet dinner.  Our room was real plush.  We enjoyed it.

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